Google opens applications for ₦75m fund to empower Nigerian SMBs
Google has announced applications for the Hustle Academy Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) Fund, a ₦75 million equity-free fund dedicated to amplifying the ambitions of Nigerian small businesses.
This initiative, offering ₦5 million to 15 Nigerian small business owners, cements Google’s commitment to cultivating entrepreneurial growth in Nigeria. The application opened yesterday.
Checks have shown that small businesses form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. Yet, they consistently grapple with challenges, notably the perennial obstacle of securing vital funding.
According to the World Bank, African SMBs face a staggering financial gap of $330 billion. Additionally, only 25 per cent of SMBs in Africa have access to bank loans, a percentage that sharply contrasts with the 50 per cent recorded in developed economies.
Google’s Hustle Academy, introduced in 2022, provides SMEs with business and management education, mentoring, and networking, with a particular emphasis on preparing them to package their businesses to raise the necessary capital to take their businesses to the next level.
Since its inception, the programme has graduated over 4,000 SMBs in Nigeria, with 74 per cent from the first year reporting remarkable business growth.
Head of Brand and Reputation, sub-Saharan Africa at Google, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, remarked: “The Hustle Academy Fund is a testament to the resilience and innovation of Nigerian small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. We are hopeful that this fund will further empower them to succeed and drive economic growth, creating jobs and opportunities for all Nigerians.”
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